China is the world's largest developing country. In its development, it has endeavored to integrate the interests of the Chinese people with people of other countries, providing assistance to the best of its ability to other developing countries within the framework of South-South cooperation to support and help other developing countries, especially the least developed countries (LDCs), to reduce poverty and improve livelihood. China has proactively promoted international development and cooperation and played a constructive role in this aspect.
When providing foreign assistance, China adheres to the principles of not imposing any political conditions, not interfering in the internal affairs of the recipient countries and fully respecting their right to independently choosing their own paths and models of development. The basic principles China upholds in providing foreign assistance are mutual respect, equality, keeping promise, mutual benefits and win-win.
In recent years, China's foreign assistance has kept growing. The following is an introduction of China's foreign assistance from 2010 to 2012.
I. Developing Foreign Assistance Cause Steadily
The scale of China's foreign assistance kept expanding from 2010 to 2012. Besides complete projects and goods and materials, which were the main forms of China's foreign assistance, technical cooperation and human resources development cooperation also saw remarkable increases. Asia and Africa were the major recipient areas of China's foreign assistance. To promote the realization of Millennium Development Goals, China directed most of its assisting funds to low-income developing countries.
1. Financial Resources for Foreign Assistance
From 2010 to 2012, China appropriated in total 89.34 billion yuan (14.41 billion U.S. dollars) for foreign assistance in three types: grant (aid gratis), interest-free loan and concessional loan.
Grant is mainly offered to help recipient countries build small or medium-sized social welfare projects, and to fund human resources development cooperation, technical cooperation, material assistance and emergency humanitarian aid. In the three years, China provided 32.32 billion yuan of grants, accounting for 36.2 percent of the total assistance volume.
Interest-free loan is mainly used to help recipient countries construct public facilities and launch projects to improve people's livelihood. In the three years, China offered 7.26 billion yuan of interest-free loans, taking up 8.1 percent of its foreign assistance volume.
Concessional loan is mainly used to help recipient countries undertake manufacturing projects and large and medium-sized infrastructure projects with economic and social benefits, or for the supply of complete plants, machinery and electronic products. In the three years, the concessional loans China provided to other countries amounted to 49.76 billion yuan, or 55.7 percent of its total assistance volume in the same period.
Foreign assistance budget is put under the unified management of the Ministry of Finance in line with the budget and final accounts system. Concessional loans are raised by the Export-Import Bank of China on the market. As the loan interest is lower than the benchmark interest released by the People's Bank of China, the difference is made up by the state as financial subsidies.
2. Distribution of Foreign Assistance
From 2010 to 2012, China provided assistance to 121 countries, including 30 in Asia, 51 in Africa, nine in Oceania, 19 in Latin America and the Caribbean and 12 in Europe. Besides, China also provided assistance to regional organizations such as the African Union (AU).
3. Forms of Foreign Assistance
From 2010 to 2012, China provided foreign assistance mainly in the following forms: undertaking complete projects, providing goods and materials, conducting technical cooperation and human resources development cooperation, dispatching medical teams and volunteers, offering emergency humanitarian aid, and reducing or exempting the debts of the recipient countries.
Complete projects. In total, China undertook the construction of 580 such projects in 80 countries, with infrastructure and agriculture as the focus.
Goods and materials. China provided 96 countries and regions with 424 batches of goods and materials, including mainly office supplies, mechanical equipment, inspection equipment, transport vehicles, articles for daily use, medicine and medical devices.
Technical cooperation. China completed 170 technical cooperation projects in 61 countries and regions, mainly covering industrial production and management, agricultural planting and breeding, culture and education, sports and physical training, medical and health care, clean energy development, and planning and consultation.
Human resources development cooperation. China held 1,951 training sessions for officials and technical personnel and on-the-job academic education programs in China, training a total of 49,148 people from other developing countries.
Medical teams. China dispatched 55 teams composed of 3,600 medical personnel to 54 countries to provide stationed or touring medical services, treating nearly seven million patients.
Volunteer programs. China sent about 7,000 young volunteers and volunteer Chinese language teachers to over 60 countries.
Emergency humanitarian aid. China extended 1.5 billion yuan worth of materials and cash assistance in emergency humanitarian aid to more than 30 countries.
Debt relief. China relieved nine LDCs and heavily indebted poor countries, namely, Tanzania, Zambia, Cameroon, Equatorial Guinea, Mali, Togo, Benin, Cote d'Ivoire and Sudan, from 16 mature interest-free loans totaling 1.42 billion yuan.